Lichen Planus is a not a life threatening condition but definitely, if left untreated it can put negative impact on all aspects of your life causing following complications.
- Cosmetic concern: Lichen Planus can make the skin patchy, papulated, pigmented, and colour of skin changes in affected area which may persist for some time even after lesion heals completely. This can cause severe cosmetic disfigurement and may cause embarrassment especially, if on visible areas.
- Lichen Planus can make the nails look bad too. This can severely cause cosmetic disfigurement and may cause embarrassment. Hair loss, in cases of scalp Lichen Planus, may cause cosmetic concerns.
- Lichen Planus causes intense urge to itch and cause pain. This disturbs sleep and other routine activities. Disturbed sleep may cause daytime sleepiness, irritability, lack of focus. This can affect work productivity and also destroy interpersonal relationships.
Affect on routine life: Oral lichen planus affects eating. It can also affect your choice of foods. Painful sore causes difficulty in eating spicy, hard, sharp foods.
If lichen planus involves food pipe, it may cause pain during swallowing, difficulty in swallowing.
- Recurrence: Lichen Planus may recur even after it goes away completely.
- Sexual dysfunctions: Lichen Planus can affect private parts too in both the males and females. In females, it can cause lesions at vulva; these lesions can also cause strictures at vagina. Vaginal strictures can make the sexual intercourse painful (dyspareunia). In males, it can cause lesions at penis and scrotum. Such lesions can cause sexual dysfunctions.
- Secondary Infection: Scratching and itching can cause skin to bleed which may further cause bacterial infection of skin which may spread further. Persistent scratching can cause secondary infection of skin and may result in serious infection called cellulitis which is a potential dangerous condition.
- Chances of cancer: Though Lichen Planus is not cancer but, it increases the chances of skin/ Oral / genital cancer significantly, especially, if Lichen Planus is long standing. Ulcerative Lichen Planus can sometime precede Oral Cancer. Though, no proof is available, but Lichen Planus is also thought to increase risk of Squamous cell cancer (a type of skin cancer).